If you have a large number of desktops on which to install the Argos Desktop Client, you may wish to employ Windows networking techniques to install en masse.
The techniques outlined in this document assume an understanding of MSI and, optionally, Group Policies. If you aren't familiar with these concepts, we recommend against using them. Support for Microsoft networking is beyond the scope of our support policy.
Planning your MSI rollout
MSI packages can be deployed one of two ways:
- Via Group Policy Objects
- Via login script
If you plan to deploy in multiple offices, where each office has its own Argos Communication Service, then you must create separate GPO's for each office with their own uniqe .mst transform files.
Step 1 - Create your deployment share
- Begin by downloading and installing an .msi editing tool (if you don't have one already). Sepialine recommends the free product Instedit (available for download at instedit.com).
- Browse to C:\ArgosInstallers\Agent\AgentMSI on the server where you've installed Argos 8. This folder will contain the ArgosAgent.msi file we'll be using for deployment.
- Copy this file into a shared folder that is available across your network, preferably a folder that is replicated to all of your sites. If you don't have replication you may want to create a share at each physical location. It is essential that "domain users" and "domain computers" be given read access to this share.
- Open that share on the machine you've installed Instedit on, right-click the file, and select "Instedit!".
- In the top menu of Instedit, select Transform > New Transform. You'll be prompted to select a location and name for the transform. Place it in the same deployment share as the base .msi.
- Next, you'll select the "Property" table from the left menu, and modify the "ArgCommServer" and "ArgosInstallTracking" values as illustrated below. ArgCommServer's value will have "http://YOURARGOSSERVER:7080/cs/" substituted with the hostname or IP address of the Communication Server of the office that will receive this particular deployment, and ArgosInstallTracking will be "0" assuming you don't want to track local print queues on the workstations. If you wish to track local queues, leave this value set at "1".
Step 2 - Creating your Group Policy Object (GPO)
If you have Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) installed, follow these steps:
- On an administrative workstation, open the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC).
- In the console tree, right-click the domain name in the forest in which you want to create and link a Group Policy object (GPO).
- Click Create and Link a GPO Here.
- In the New GPO dialog box, specify a name for the new GPO (e.g. "Argos 8"), and then click OK.
If you don't have GPMC installed, then:
- On a domain controller or administrative workstation, open Active Directory Users and Computers.
- Locate the OU that contains the computers where you want to deploy theVPModule.msi.
- Right-click that OU, and then click Properties.
- Click the Group Policy tab, and then click New.
- In the New GPO dialog box, specify a name (e.g. "Argos 8") for the new GPO, and then click OK.
Step 3 - Edit your GPO to deploy the .MSI / .MST software installation packages
Right-click the new GPO you established in Step 2, and then click Edit
- In Group Policy Object Editor, click Computer Configuration, click Software Settings, and then click Software Installation.
- On the Action menu, point to New, and then click Package.
- In the Open dialog box, type the full Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path of the shared installer package that you want to distribute in the Filename field. Select the MSI you created in Step 1, then click Open.
- In the Deploy Software dialog box, click Advanced, and then click OK.
- In the next window that pops up, select the Modifications tab.
- If you're deploying to multiple offices and have an .mst file, click Add, then browse to and select the appropriate .mst file for the office you're deploying to.
- The shared installer package that you selected appears in the right pane of Group Policy Object Editor.
Step 4 - Test your GPO
On a candidate workstation, open a Command Prompt and type:
gpupdate /force /boot
The machine should reboot, at which point you should see the following:
"Preparing network connections"
"Applying computer settings"
"Installing managed software Argos Agent…"
Approximately 10 seconds after logging in you will see the Argos "A" logo appear in the system tray. If the A is red the Agent cannot communicate with an Argos Communication Service at the URL it was passed by the .mst. A windows firewall blocking port 7080 on the server side or a mis-typed URL are the most likely causes. This is assuming that the Communication Service is installed on the server.
This GPO is applied to the machine objects in Active Directory, so the installation takes place outside of any NT user account. For this reason it is essential that "domain computers" be added to your deployment share.
Testing your communication service
You can verify that the Communication Service is running and see a list of all connected DTC's by typing "http://CShostnameor_IP:7080/cs/health" into a web browser. You'll need to plug in your actual server IP address or hostname into that URL.